Federal, state, and institutional regulations require students receiving financial aid to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Financial aid includes, but is not limited to, the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, all North Carolina Community College grant programs, and all institutional aid programs. The institution’s Satisfactory Academic Progress procedure must include two major components: 1) a qualitative measure and 2) a quantitative measure (comprised of progression rate, maximum timeframe, and developmental coursework). These components are explained below. Individual programs may have additional or varying requirements as stipulated by the guidelines of that program. Both the qualitative and quantitative standards are cumulative and include all periods of enrollment at ICC, even those for which the student did not receive financial aid funds.
A student receiving financial aid at Isothermal Community College (ICC) must maintain a financial aid cumulative grade point average (FA-GPA) at or above a 2.00. The cumulative FA-GPA will be evaluated at the end of each semester. Any student having a cumulative FA-GPA that is less than 2.00 shall be placed on financial aid warning during the next term they attend, consecutive or otherwise. The student will be notified of his/her warning status in writing by the Financial Aid Office and may receive financial aid during the warning term of enrollment. If the student’s cumulative FA-GPA does not come up to the 2.00 requirement by the end of the warning term, he/she will be placed on financial aid suspension and all aid will be terminated until he/she earns the minimum required cumulative FA-GPA.
Please note the following conditions:
Any student receiving financial aid will have a maximum timeframe in which he/she is expected to complete1 a program of study. Regulations require that the timeframe be no more than 150% of the established length of the program. At ICC, the 150% timeframe will be measured in terms of credit hours attempted.2 Once the student has attempted 150%, or it has been determined that they cannot complete their program within the 150% timeframe, he/she is no longer eligible for financial aid at ICC. Academic development courses are excluded from this calculation.
Example: If a program requires 60 credit hours to complete, then a student must complete their program within 90 attempted credit (60 x 150% = 90).
1 In order for a program to be considered complete the student must complete all required hours for the program, submit an application for graduation, and have that application approved by the Registrar’s Office.
2 For the quantitative measure, credit hours attempted will be cumulative and all hours for which the student was enrolled as of the Pell Recalculation Date (census date) of each academic term and received a grade where the first letter is one of the following: A, B, C, D, F, I, W, W# or R will be counted.
Students are also required to successfully complete 67% of the cumulative credit hours attempted. Grades of A, B, C, D, CE, and CR will be counted as hours attempted and successfully completed. Grades of F, I, W, and R will not count as hours successfully completed, but will count as hours attempted. Grades of NS (no show) and Y (audit) will not be counted as attempted hours or hours successfully completed. Academic development courses are excluded from this calculation.
Quantitative progress will be evaluated at the end of each term. Any student not successfully completing 67% of the cumulative credit hours attempted shall be placed on financial aid warning during the next term they attend, consecutive or otherwise. The student will be notified of his/her warning status in writing by the Financial Aid Office and may receive financial aid during the warning term of enrollment. If the student is not back within acceptable standards by the end of the warning term, he/she will be placed on financial aid suspension and all aid will be terminated until he/she has successfully completed 67% of the classes being attempted.
Example: 13 cumulative credit hours attempted and the student completed only 9 credit hours. Divide the numbers of hours successfully completed by the total number of hours attempted. I.e. 9/13 = .692 x 100 = 69.2% completion rate.
Students who are required to take academic development courses, as determined by placement testing, may receive financial aid for up to 30 attempted credit hours of academic development course work. Once a student has attempted the maximum 30 credit hours, academic development credit hours will no longer be included when calculating the student’s enrollment status. Grades earned in academic development courses will be included in calculating the financial aid grade point average for financial aid purposes. Academic development course work is not included in the Maximum Timeframe or Progression calculation. Sometimes prerequisites can count as remedial course work if it is required for the student's program of study and is not included in any other section on the program evaluation.
Students who have had their aid terminated may reestablish eligibility for financial aid in one of two ways: 1) by enrolling in subsequent semester(s) at his/her own expense until satisfactory academic progress is achieved, or 2) by the appeals process, if approved (see below).
To appeal financial aid suspension, a student must be able to demonstrate the existence of mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances are defined as, but not limited to, serious injury or illness of the student, death of an immediate family member (spouse, child, sibling, or parent), significant trauma in the student’s life, or undue hardship caused by unusual circumstances. Documentation of the mitigating circumstance is required. The student must prove that the mitigating circumstances have been resolved and will no longer be a detriment to the student’s performance. The student’s prior academic performance and withdrawal rate will be closely scrutinized in the appeal process. For information on how to appeal, see below:
For financial aid suspension or maximum timeframe, the student must complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form and return it to the Financial Aid Office along with any supporting documentation and your program evaluation. Please note: The deadlines for submitting an appeal for review each semester are posted on the Dates and Deadlines page. Appeals submitted after the deadline will be reviewed at the end of the term for the upcoming semester.
These procedures are subject to change based on institutional, state, and federal guidelines.